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Stone pelting festival in Champawat, over 300 injured

Champawat:  More than 300 people were injured as they celebrated traditional ‘Bagwal’ festival in Champawat district of Uttarakhand, on Monday.

During this festival people throw stones at each other while they try to protect themselves with the help of large shields made of bamboo. This festival is held every year at the temple of goddess Barahi on the occasion of sibling festival Raksha Bandhan.

Thousands of people including Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat attended the traditional ‘Patthar Yuddh Bagwal’ (stone pelting festival) on Saturday.

However, many people sustained injuries during the stone pelting though they considered themselves ‘lucky’ since they get to ‘offer’ their blood to the goddess

The conventional ‘Bagwal’ starts after the ceremonial worship of goddess Barahi. Later the idol was brought out in the open for public. It is believed that devotees indulge in ‘Bagwal’ also to please her.

ANI inputs